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February 22, 2013News for contractors and the construction industry

  Top Story 
  • $1B, 73-story tower will become L.A.'s tallest by 2016
    The Wilshire Grand will become the tallest building in Los Angeles once it is completed in 2016. The $1 billion, 73-story skyscraper will stand 1,100 feet tall. It won't need a flat roof, something normally required by the city's fire code, because of its "improved building-core design." The structure will employ "a lateral system with a concrete-core shear wall" and be protected against building drift by "a series of outrigger columns and braces." Engineering News-Record (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Infrastructure & Project Focus 
  • TVA, B&W forge small-reactor development deal
    The Tennessee Valley Authority and Babcock & Wilcox have forged a deal to jointly study small modular reactor development. TVA plans to construct at least one unit at its Clinch River Site in Tennessee. "With strong support from [the Department of Energy], we look forward to the successful development, demonstration, and analysis of SMR technology as a potential option to help TVA and the nation meet our clean-energy goals for the future," said Joe Hoagland, senior vice president for policy and oversight at TVA. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (2/20), Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • N.J. gets $215M to rebuild storm-damaged Route 35
    New Jersey received $215 million in federal funds to rebuild a 12.5-mile stretch of Route 35 that was seriously damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The project, which will include replacement of the stormwater drainage system and road strengthening, will begin in late June and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $200M mixed-use project gains preliminary approval in Orlando, Fla.
    A three-phase development project has been granted preliminary approval by the Municipal Planning Board of Orlando, Fla. The $200 million Central Station project's first phase will consist of a six-story apartment building, a hotel and a parking garage and parking lot. Future phases will include construction of two office buildings and a nine-story parking garage. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Update 
  • Obama and Republicans break silence and restart budget talks
    The White House and Republican leaders have restarted talks on how to avert across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect March 1. President Barack Obama spoke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the conversations were "good" but didn't give any details. Reuters (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Innovation & Green Building 
  • L.A. installs "earthquake-resistant pipes"
    The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is conducting a test installation of earthquake-resistant ductile iron pipe from Japan. "It's good stuff -- never failed in Japan, in any earthquake in 40 years," said Satoshi Suenaga, a Kubota engineer. The pipes are designed to flex and bend when they're under pressure, thus reducing the chance of breaks or leaks. Daily News (Los Angeles) (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A look at 5 of the most talked-about smart-city projects
    This piece lists five projects that are using the power of technology to build the "cities of the future now." It includes the $35 billion Songdo city in South Korea; Abu Dhabi's Masdar City; Rio de Janeiro's city-wide operations center; smart street lights and other technologically advanced projects in Barcelona, Spain; and London's various projects including sensors to monitor air quality, traffic flow and water supply. BBC (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • AGC chapter exec: Immigration reform key to industry's future
    A report released by the Workers Defense Project, an Austin, Texas immigration rights group, reveals that half of the state's construction workers are undocumented. The report's contents make a case pushing for reforms in the country's immigration policies that will allow employers to hire these workers legally. "In order to grow, you need to build, so we need a talented and available workforce," said Phil Thoden, president and CEO of the Austin chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. "Immigration reform is key to the future growth of not only Austin, but all of Texas." Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • New proposal to reform multiemployer retirement plans will help hard-hit construction industry
    The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the release of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans Retirement Security Review Commission’s proposed plan for preserving, remediating and innovating multiemployer retirement plans: "The Commission's plan represents a pragmatic, reasonable and -- most importantly for taxpayers -- self-sufficient approach to preserving and protecting nearly half a trillion dollars worth of multiemployer retirement plans." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • California charity selected for next Operation Opening Doors project: Learn how you can help
    AGC Charities has selected Palm Springs, California-area charity Angel View for its next Operation Opening Doors project. The group provides a host of services for local disabled children. AGC Charities, with the leadership of Hensel Phelps Construction, will renovate the facilities' outdoor therapy area, improve access to the facility and replace aging and damaged doors and wainscoting. AGC Charities is looking for volunteers, supplies and donations. Visit www.agccharities.org and watch this video to learn more about the project and how you can help. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences."
--W. Somerset Maugham,
British writer


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